Psychiatrist Nadine Lavoie helps her patients deal with traumas from their past, but the doctor has her own darkness she’s been avoiding.
There are pieces of her life she doesn’t remember, she suffers from claustrophobia and seven years ago, her teenage daughter ran away from home and has been living on the streets.
An encounter with a patient in an intensive care unit who tried to commit suicide triggers memories from her own life and the psychiatrist is forced to deal with the childhood traumas she buried in her mind.
Lavoie is the psychiatrist readers were introduced to in Chevy Stevens’ first two books. Now in Stevens’ third book, Always Watching, people learn her story. For the plot Stevens took pieces of her childhood growing up in Shawnigan Lake and incorporated them into the novel.
“It was very nostalgic for me to be able to include things that were part of my own childhood,” said Stevens.
When she was a child there was a hippie commune near the lake that lived off the land.
Stevens combined that memory with her research into cults. She wondered what would happen if there was someone who came to the commune who would use their power to manipulate people.
Aaron Quinn the commune’s fictional leader terrifies Lavoie, but she doesn’t know why.
Stevens first book, Still Missing, was released in 2009, and made the New York Times bestseller list. Her second novel, Never Knowing, is an international bestseller.
Stevens grew up in Shawnigan Lake and lives in the Nanaimo area with her family. She has been busy working on her fourth book and taking care of her daughter Piper, who is six months old.
The author deals with issues that don’t tend to be discussed in the open or still have a stigma attached to them – issues such as depression and addiction.
Those subjects have struck a chord with some readers who have told Stevens it affected their lives and helped them.
“To know you have impacted someone’s life, that is profound,” she said.
Stevens will be signing books and having a discussion with readers at Chapters, located at 6670 Mary Ellen Dr., Saturday (June 22) at 2 p.m. The event includes a special interview conducted by Susan Juby.
Her books are available at all major bookstores.
For more information about Always Watching please go to www.raincoast.com.